Hikers have a sense of humor. Really. Perhaps we project a too serious demeanor as we climb to the top of the hill, prompting non-hikers to view us as humor-challenged.

Anyone out there working on a collection of hiker humor? The Trailmaster can’t wait to read it, share it, and laugh out loud.

As a group, hikers like a good joke as much or more than anyone. Here are some classic hiker jokes, silly stories and funny life lessons from the trail:

How to Cross a River
One day three men were hiking along and came upon a wide, raging river. They needed to get to the other side, but it looked impossible to ford, and they had no idea of how to do it.

The first man prayed: “Please God, give me the strength to cross this river.”

Poof! God gave him big strong arms and legs and he was able to swim across the river—though it took him two hours to do it.

Seeing this, the second man prayed: “Please God, give me the strength and ability to cross this river.”

Poof! God gave him a rowboat and he was able to row across the river—though it took him three hours to do it.

The third man had observed how this had worked out for his two hiking buddies, so he also prayed, saying, “Please God, give me the strength, ability and intelligence to cross this river.”

Poof! God turned him into a woman. He looked at the trail map, and in a minute walked across the bridge.

If You See Bigfoot…
Once there was a group of hikers traveling through the deep woods in the Pacific Northwest. The group leader gave the hikers a very stern warning: “If, by chance you see Bigfoot, run. But whatever you do, don’t touch Bigfoot!”

That night, after the group had set up camp, one hiker was in his tent, when Bigfoot appeared. The huge creature stood in the doorway of the tent. The hiker was so scared, he ran screaming out of the tent, but on his way, he touched Bigfoot. Bigfoot ran after him. The guy ran as fast as he could through the dark forest, Bigfoot was in hot pursuit.

He made it back to the trailhead, jumped in his car and sped home. A few days later, Bigfoot showed up at his back door. Panicked, the guy starts running as fast as he can, Bigfoot right behind. Finally, exhausted, he trips and falls. Bigfoot catches up to him, plants his huge feet right next him.

Shaking, the guy gets to his feet and shouts, “What do you want?!”

Bigfoot reaches out to him and says, “Tag, you’re it.”

Hiking in Bear Country
A guy’s going on a hiking vacation into the remote mountains out west. Before heading into the wilderness, he stops at a small town general store to get some supplies.

After picking out provisions, he approaches the crusty old guy behind the counter.

“I’m going hiking up in the mountains, and was wondering–do you have any bears around here?”

“Yup,” replies the storeowner.

“What kind?” asks the hiker.

“Well, we got black bears and we got grizzlies,” he replies.

“I see,” says the hiker. “Do you have any of those bear bells?”

“Say what?”

“You know,” explains the hiker, “those little tinkle-bells that hikers wear in bear country to warn the bears that they are coming, so the bears aren’t surprised and attack them.”

“Oh, yeah. Back there,” he says, pointing to a dusty shelf on the other side of the store.

The hiker selects some bells and returns to the counter to pay for them. “Another thing,” the hiker inquires, “how can I tell when I’m hiking in bear country anyway?”

“By the scat,” the old fellow replies, ringing up the hiker’s purchases.

“Well, uh, how can I tell if it’s grizzly country or black bear country?” the hiker asks.

“By the scat,” the storeowner replies.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asks the hiker. “I mean, what’s difference between grizzly scat and black bear scat?”

“The stuff that’s in it.”

Frustrated, the hiker persists, “Okay, so what’s in grizzly bear scat that isn’t in black bear scat?” he asks, an impatient tone in his voice.

“Bear bells,” replies the old man as he hands the hiker his purchases.

Complaints to the U.S. Forest Service
How well do you know your fellow hikers? How smart do you think they are, anyway? These are actual complaints to the Forest Service from trail users.

“Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.”

“Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness.”

“Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands.”

“Ban walking sticks in wilderness. Hikers that use walking sticks are more likely to chase animals.”

“All the mile markers are missing this year.”

“Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.”

“Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests.”

“Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow in the winter.”

“Chairlifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.”

“The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.”
“Reflectors need to be placed on trees every 50 feet so people can hike at night with flashlights.”

“Need more signs to keep area pristine.”

“A McDonald’s would be nice at the trailhead.”

“Too many rocks in the mountains.”

“The places where trails do not exist are not well marked.”

Oh, Canada! Complaints and Questions
Staff at Canada’s Banff National Park compiled a list of the “All Time Most Dim Questions” asked by park visitors. Read ’em and groan.

How do the elk know they’re supposed to cross at the “Elk Crossing” signs?
Are the bears with collars tame?
I saw an animal on the way to Banff today—could you tell me what it was?
Where can I buy a raccoon hat?
Are there birds in Canada?
What’s the best way to see Canada in one day?
Where can I get my husband, really, REALLY, lost?
Is that 2 kilometers by foot or by car?

Life Lessons from the Trail
A pebble in a hiking boot always migrates to the point of maximum irritation.
The return distance to the trailhead where you parked your car remains constant as twilight approaches.
The sun sets two-and-a-half times faster than normal when you’re hurrying back to the trailhead.
The mosquito population at any given location is inversely proportional to the effectiveness of your repellent.
Waterproof rainwear isn’t. (However, it is 100% effective at containing sweat).
The width of backpack straps decreases with the distance hiked. To compensate, the weight of the backpack increases.
Average temperature increases with the amount of extra clothing you’re carrying in your day pack.
Given a chance, matches will find a way to get wet.
The weight in a backpack can never remain uniformly distributed.
When reading the instructions for a water filter, “hour” should be substituted for “minute” when reading the average quarts filtered per minute.
The little toothpick in your new Swiss Army knife will disappear the first time you take it on a hike.